What kind of router should I purchase?

Linuxbox1
Linuxbox1 Member Posts: 23
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If I were to buy a router, then which route best suits my needs. Security, and ease of use are very important, and let's not focus on price. The network has between 20 and 30 devices, and above average data usage. What's the best router that money can buy today, with all the bells and whistles? What's the affordable choice that would simply just be sufficient? What are some better routers in between those first two choices? Which, one did you choose and why? Going back would you still buy that router, and why? Have fun with it; food for thought. Lastly, I have the first generation fingbox. Should I wait on a newer model to come out over the next year or so, or should I purchase the latest one now when I purchase a new router? Thank you for your time!

Regards,

Jarred

CiaranRobin_from_FingkltaylorDoc_Adaniel_cullen
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Answers

  • ajb
    ajb Member Posts: 1
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    I would advise a Fritz!Box. They provide routers for all kind of purposes depending on the needs you have. Their OS offers a great deal of settings and tweaks and is really easy to use. If you have a larger premise and need more wifi coverage they have build in Mesh capabilities.
    CiaranLinuxbox1Paol8douwevtjw_ned
  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Administrator Posts: 1,180
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    Thanks @ajb. @kltaylor , @Robin , @Rooted, @Albert, @Marc , @Pixelpopper . Any advise on this one?
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)

    Linuxbox1
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
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    Hi @KoalaTeaTime Sorry but there are too many variables in your question. Maybe you need to do some research first and present some options that the community (& moderators) can advise on. As you’ve discovered there are hundreds of modems & routers out there and price is no guarantee of performance or reliability. Good luck with your search.
    AlbertK
  • Linuxbox1
    Linuxbox1 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks so much! I'll check it out.

    What kind of router do you have?

    Let's say, if money was not an issue, then would there be another router other than a Fritzbox that comes to mind??

    Thanks again!

    Regards,

    Jarred

  • Linuxbox1
    Linuxbox1 Member Posts: 23
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    Hi pixel. I realize there are many things covered in my post, and I've done a lot of researching, rest assured. The post presents oddly because it's not only a router purchasing question while also seeking guidance, but also acts as a means to an open ended discussion regarding routers, their abilities, etc. and many, many other variables that can not only help me in my search but can help others seeking the same. I don't have the opportunity to purchase routers and try them out first hand. Seeking the guidance of this community can be a proxy of sorts in this sense as many here would have their favorite router, ones they loathe, and that "unicorn" router they wish they had the money to splurge and purchase and you have a friend that swears he saw it once in a reflection.


    On one hand I like the nighthawk. On the other, I like the pineapple, and on the another hand... Maybe I'll just not buy a new router because I'm too unsure. One of the reasons I asked in the manner seen above was to not steer anyone's answer. Furthermore, I respect the community and the mods here... It's a great community! That being said, my post isn't hard to parse, and the variables are minimal really; 6 questions posed, that when answered, greatly assist my current dilemma.

    Thanks for your time and work pixel.

    Regards,

    Jarred

    MarcCleo
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,719
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    I’m partial to the Linksys Velops. I have them covering my home, they are reliable, expandable as you need to and support most of the recent WiFi standards. They can also be remotely managed if you opt into that which is a real plus when I’m also the family tech support person. I’ve got north of 50 iot and compute related devices that the Velops cover including streaming and gaming.

    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    [Deleted User]FerlautoLinuxbox1
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    If I were to buy a router, then which route best suits my needs. Security, and ease of use are very important, and let's not focus on price. The network has between 20 and 30 devices, and above average data usage. What's the best router that money can buy today, with all the bells and whistles? What's the affordable choice that would simply just be sufficient? What are some better routers in between those first two choices? Which, one did you choose and why? Going back would you still buy that router, and why? Have fun with it; food for thought. Lastly, I have the first generation fingbox. Should I wait on a newer model to come out over the next year or so, or should I purchase the latest one now when I purchase a new router? Thank you for your time!

    Regards,

    Jarred

    You mentioned two key words that typically do not compliment one another, 'ease of use' and 'security'.
    I'm guessing that the number of active concurrent devices could mean an active household like my own, and/or some level of online gaming and streaming.
    Personally I love ASUS routers, I've most recently purchased and implemented the ASUS ROG router ($300+) but again, I have a very active tech-tronic household to manage as well as two home offices.
    When it comes to features above and beyond what a normal consumer will receive with other routers, this one is quite nice and robust for what you receive.
    Ubiquiti is also another good choice, personally.  They have a great line of consumer and professional-grade devices that can meet any need, partnered with a web GUI to make connecting and interacting those devices a lot easier.
    The decision however, is really up to you.  You need to consider (and if you wish to share it) not only the number of concurrent devices, but also the net traffic that each one will receive.  Ensure that your internet LAN equipment maintains a Gigabit or faster connection leaving only your Internet connection and speed as the only 'bottle neck' that may be a factor.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    MarcLinuxbox1Romulusdaniel_cullen
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    ajb said:
    I would advise a Fritz!Box. They provide routers for all kind of purposes depending on the needs you have. Their OS offers a great deal of settings and tweaks and is really easy to use. If you have a larger premise and need more wifi coverage they have build in Mesh capabilities.
    I've not heard of this manufacturer or product, heading to the search engines to dig up what I can about them.  Thanks for the suggestion!
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    Linuxbox1Cleo
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
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    Hi @KoalaTeaTime - fine, that’s six variables, I’ll add another which is worthy of consideration when making your choice “Support.” When things aren’t working as expected community sites such as this can be very helpful but some manufacturers offer excellent technical support & others virtually none. Personally, I have had poor support with Netgear devices but excellent support from Linksys. Both are renowned manufacturers of “high end” devices and I have owned items from both which have caused me problems. It is really useful to be able to call on the manufacturer for help if needed and in some cases they will replace an item if it proves faulty. 
    I hope this helps when making your decision. 
    Paul.
    MarckltaylorAlbertKLinuxbox1
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,719
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    The nighthawk is an impressive looking router but still has the limitations of a single device dealing with wall thickness and obstacles of a single network device.   I find in larger locations,  a need for extenders (wired or wireless) if range is not optimal.  With mesh, any mesh really, the expansion capabilities are impressively simple.  You can blanket your space with signal by adding devices, have seamless roaming (if your device supports it) and it really just works.  Linksys, Google, Eeros, TP-Link to name just a few...
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    kltaylorLinuxbox1
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    Marc said:
    The nighthawk is an impressive looking router but still has the limitations of a single device dealing with wall thickness and obstacles of a single network device.   I find in larger locations,  a need for extenders (wired or wireless) if range is not optimal.  With mesh, any mesh really, the expansion capabilities are impressively simple.  You can blanket your space with signal by adding devices, have seamless roaming (if your device supports it) and it really just works.  Linksys, Google, Eeros, TP-Link to name just a few...
    I have a total of three ASUS devices in my home office working as a Mesh.  The new ASUS ROG as the main hub, and the two other routers that I upgraded from as 'nodes'.
    My whole home is covered, and quite impressively you can still use the Ethernet ports on the ASUS nodes and configure them to take traffic priority or not (On, Off, Auto).
    It's great when I am about 1.5 blocks from the house and the geo-fence pings on my phone.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    MarcLinuxbox1
  • Ferlauto
    Ferlauto White Plains, NYMember Posts: 53
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    I can also give a good plug for the Linksys VELOP, but I would ask if you are using it in a home or office?  If the latter, you probably need to be looking at business routers as you will likely have needs far beyond mere bandwidth.

    If I did it again today, I would buy Linksys again, but I would have one of their "Max-Stream" gaming routers connected to my Verizon FiOS ONT and the VELOP nodes for the coverage.  

    Here's how I arrived at buying them in the first place:   After reading a bunch of reviews, plus factoring in my own opinions, it was a very easy process of elimination, at least for me.

    eero:  The first consumer mesh router. I was afraid of them physically surviving because they were a one-trick pony company.  They sill make a great product, but it was also the most expensive at the time, and they did get bought out by Amazon, so at least they will survive, but I wonder if they will get too Amazon-centric per se. Your router is the nucleus of your network.  You need it to be as open as possible.
    Google:  The heck I want Google knowing my packet traffic. The only thing worse would be a Facebook router.  Next!
    Netgear Orbi:  At the time, the best performance.  However, the software was absolutely awful (and having used other Netgear products over the years, they had obviously not improved in the usability department.  Also, the devices themselves are physically huge and IMHO quite hideous.  

    The VELOP at the time was a very close second to Netgear in straight throughput performance.  However, the software was much better and the price was very competitive with all the others.  Aesthetically they look very "innocuous."  One might think they are some sort of air purifier or home security device.  It doesn't scream router.  I have the black ones because I have one in the living room relatively near my television and when watching movies, I want the thing to disappear as much as possible.

    On a somewhat related note, if you need some switches in your house for multiple Ethernet connections, in this case, I am a big Netgear fan.  Specifically their "ProSafe" series, which come with lifetime warranties.  I've had a 16-port switch for many years now.  Probably about a decade now.  Absolutely flawless.

    Lastly I will say, this is one of those topics where if you ask five people you are going to get at least six opinions.  Figure out what are your true requirements, some of which you may not realize until read up a bit on various products.  From there the decision should come rather easily.


    kltaylorMarcAlbertKLinuxbox1MEPPY
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,719
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    @Ferlauto , that the setup I have. I started with a Linksys MR9000 as a stand alone router, then added the mesh nodes as I needed them. The MR participates in a mesh network, as a control node if you add mesh nodes. Works like a charm and it let me upgrade as I needed to.

    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    Ferlauto
  • cryptoknight
    cryptoknight Upper Southern Peninsula IslandMember Posts: 10
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    I've been a long-time fan of the Wirecutter for reviews.  It's hard to find their level of testing + volume of writing on products.  That said, their approach for home network splits the category by mesh or no-mesh, which seems a good approach if only to help narrow down one's options.

    The Wirecutter's non-mesh recommendation is currently the TP-Link Archer A20; for mesh, it's the Eero Pro & 2 Beacons.  Perhaps those will provide some data points to help with decision-making.  Overall, as others have said, you'll likely need to better refine your requirements so that you can narrow the options.

    Sidenote: @Ferlauto and @kltaylor provided some helpful info, as well as others.  I'm hoping to "tech refresh" this year, so I'm keeping an eye on this thread for sure.

    That's the good thing about opinions... they don't have to be backed up with facts.
    Ferlauto[Deleted User]Linuxbox1
  • AlbertK
    AlbertK Member Posts: 28
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    Its almost all been said here already.  I've been an ASUS user for about 10+ years. While the uptake of the AX protocol is s;low and few devices support this as yet... it might be worthwhile keeping this in mind and keeping an eye to the future. Another point to consider is the amount of LAN ports on the router itself. It is surprising how quickly they fill up.... all 8 of mine are in use and they are added to by  TP link and Netgear switches.. Note:  I prefer to cable where possible and that may not apply to your needs or setup.
    Another point re the future? The 6GHz band is becoming available and that means new radios for the router(s) as I consider it unlikely that they can get that new band allocation to work by simply updating the Microcode/Firmware. As @cryptoknight said: try to define your requirements, keep an eye on the future. Also.....consider..... do you want yr router to support 2,5 5 and 10GHz speeds ?? Very very very few do... the best you might get is 2.5GHz on the top of the line ASUS unit.  Best advice ???? TAKE YOUR TIME... plan for the future... and define your requirements as best as you can, keeping an eye to the future !
    FerlautocryptoknightLinuxbox1
  • Doc_A
    Doc_A Member, Beta Tester Posts: 3
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    I have found during these excessively fog bounded and distressing times that quality Customer service (given equipment that is sufficient) far more important than Brand. Many router companies offer limitless; but decrepit outsourced technical support. I will use Linksys as and example I know. All calls for technical support I ve made through this company have been redirected to a village in Northern India, who have made me talk to >4 technicians for each problem all of them have left after 20 min, passing me to the next. Each of them took the first 1/3 of my time reentering all my personal data, my warranties, my device name, S/N, Model etc. I will never but from Linksys again. So, buy from a company with competent, technical support. As to intranet or internet connection issues, WiFi is inherently unreliable when any competing channels are within 90 feet, and or internal signals. Nothing on the market can overcome some or all of these even with meshed wifi boosters. What does work, mostly is internet signals emitted to a receiver free and clear of everything. 
    So power Line transfer of ethernet quality signals, work, and include a wireless booster point best in nearly every room point of use. Get the router with good service and future upgrades, high speed power line adapters, with wifi from each and most come with mimo continuity. Most reboot after outages. I have not solved the problem of IPS signal degradation and their policies of deception, misdirection and bold face lying, but Fing appears to be closing in on an evidenced based solution.

    Moderated for Clarity. @Pixelpopper

    FerlautoAlbertKLinuxbox1
  • AlbertK
    AlbertK Member Posts: 28
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    Well said. HOWEVER..... until things go wrong... how can you find this out ?????
    On a separate point... I've made the case for cabling, wherever feasible or possible. Your post makes me feel somewhat vindicated.
    Albert
    Linuxbox1
  • Lee_Bo
    Lee_Bo Member Posts: 271
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    Well, I'm partial to Ubiquiti.  I've recently purchased and installed the new UniFi Dream Machine.  Super easy to set up and the wifi coverage from just this one device is phenomenal.  There are currently 4 adults in the house, all with mobile phones, tablets, watches, smart tv's, streaming devices, etc, with no bandwidth issues.  Now it's not the cheapest option out there ($300) but it's a good choice.
    Linuxbox1gernot
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,719
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    Tech support for any vendor is hit or miss. I’ve dealt with Linksys over the years and had good experiences. I have also called major hardware vendors we had expensive support contracts with on various issues and had to constantly escalate up the chain and those folks were in the states.

    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    AlbertKkltaylor[Deleted User]
  • AlbertK
    AlbertK Member Posts: 28
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    edited June 3, 2020 #21
    Ferlauto said:
    "On a somewhat related note, if you need some switches in your house for multiple Ethernet connections, in this case, I am a big Netgear fan.  Specifically their "ProSafe" series, which come with lifetime warranties.  I've had a 16-port switch for many years now.  Probably about a decade now.  Absolutely flawless."

    Lastly I will say, this is one of those topics where if you ask five people you are going to get at least six opinions.  Figure out what are your true requirements, some of which you may not realize until read up a bit on various products.  From there the decision should come rather easily.


    So true... so very very true.  Every router make known to Man or Beast has now been mentioned. Example: look at Amazon.... one person gives a ONE star review. The next one gives 5 stars !   Exactly on the same product. God help us all. Ferlauto... my 8 port managed Netgear switch died after a year. DEAD. My TP Link switches have been running flawlessly year after year.
    Sometimes I think it all boils down to whether you were born lucky ???
    Against knowing better 2 months ago I bought the 10 port smart managed Netgear switch, the one with the 2 10GB ports.
    sofar so good but it runs hotter than I like it. My TP Link switches remain icecold.
    FerlautoMarckltaylorLinuxbox1
  • Paparazzi
    Paparazzi Member Posts: 1
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    I just purchased the new asus mesh set RT-AX92U and i must say I'm impressed by how good it works.

    Could be something for you!

    Linuxbox1
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
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    @AlbertK “...but it runs hotter than I like it...” at least you’ll be warm in the winter 😉
    AlbertK
  • Linuxbox1
    Linuxbox1 Member Posts: 23
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    Thank you all for your time and input. I love how this thread turned out options I've never heard of and confirmed options I've had in mind. All of the input has been noted, is appreciated, and is better than the high expectations of where I hold this community. Thank you again for exceeding and pushing the bar higher.

    I have lots to research, but I love that part of upgrades. Thanks for participating in an awesome discussion for the benefit of us all.

    AlbertK[Deleted User]Marc
  • GaoGao
    GaoGao Member Posts: 30
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    What kind of connection, wireless or wired? What kind of traffic, video, photo, audio, html? What is the sources of the traffic, internal or internet? Are all stations will have more or less the same workload? What is the size of your site? For example if your site is large, 5Ghz optimized router will be useless. If not all the devices have the same workload you may use Quality Of Service feature of the router to prioritize certain devices or type of traffic or use wired connections. Also remember that the maximum bandwidth of the router is shared between all the connected devices. This is especially critical with Wifi in urban environment: All the routers in reach (your or not) working on the same channel will share the channel bandwidth, and all routers using an overlap channel will decrease the performance of your router. There is not easy answer to your question. Personally I mix wireless and wired connection, using a wired switch between heavy traffic loaded devices.  For the router I used TP-Link router, best performance/price ratio in my opinion, or Asus routers with DD-WRT if better control is necessary.
    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
  • Amiga
    Amiga Member Posts: 2
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    I thought this was an expert or Tech Savvies forum.... Couldn't we name the devices by their correct names?
    Looks like what you called here a router is a "modem/router/switch/Wifi Acces Point" combo - what the 'average Joe" name a router but is not a router.
    If you want a good working installation with high reliability that can support many devices, be remote controlled, can be tuned and expanded at will, can provide isolation of guests / security cameras / your private or business data / multimedia uses / IoT, than you need:
    - a modem (usually supplied by your internet provider) that you put in BRIDGE mode (it means you don't use the router part, NAT,...) and you turn OFF his WiFi
    - a REAL router, there are many good brands, avoid 'general consumer' brands and go for Ubiquiti (my favorite) / Mikrotik / other 'serious' brands. It's not expensive, and Edge-X cost around $50/60 (and can al:so do WAN balancing, upo to 3 sub-networks,...)
    - a good PoE Gigabit switch from 'business' range of a decent brand. Ubiquiti again are fantastic but a bit expensive for more than 8 ports but you'll find a lot in Mikrotik (again) and even TP-Link / Netgear / HP / ....
    - a set of real 'Pro' Access Points (a.k. WiFi antennas) to cover your complete property inside and outside, the models working with a central controller and accessible trough the cloud are way above others. Here the real reference is the Unifi game from Ubiquiti. They do work cabled or in mesh, supports all kinds of multiple WLans, VLans, manual RSSI settings etc etc

    Of course if it's just for a 65 m2 appartement for 2 personnes it's a bit of an 'heavy' solution, but for a >140 M2 house with some garden, kids, friends coming at home,... it's the perfect solution. And absolutely needed if you work from home or you have your office at home to have extra security layers between your activities.

    An added bonus of having only 1 brand of AP wit(h a central control is that it gaves you a "zero roaming", you goes from 1 side of the property to the opposite one without cut and without you whatsapp / zoom / facetime call interrupted or freezd.

    Now for the remaining questions about how many access points you need ? All depend on the surface, space distribution, kind of construction (wood walls let wifo goç trough very easy, armed concrete almost not). As professional installer we mostly goes from 3 to 5 AP in an average house (incl. outside zones) and 5 to 10 in big / very big houses. The biggest we did was 73 AP for a 5 stars hotel (and all this with the SAME equipments, your installation can be expanded in a snap and extra networks - like for security cams - added by software only in 5 minutes at no charge)

  • douwevt
    douwevt Member Posts: 8
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    ajb said:
    I would advise a Fritz!Box. They provide routers for all kind of purposes depending on the needs you have. Their OS offers a great deal of settings and tweaks and is really easy to use. If you have a larger premise and need more wifi coverage they have build in Mesh capabilities.
    I also choose the Fritz!box, I have the 7590. And this is my third or fourth one already. What I like about it is the very good interface, the speed (I have a 100Mb download and 30Mb upload and it really utilises that) and the way it can also operate as DECT station. In general, the phone capabilities are really good.

  • Badgerbalti
    Badgerbalti Member Posts: 4
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    https://mikrotik.com/
    If you want something with WiFi then
    https://mikrotik.com/product/rb4011igs_5hacq2hnd_in

    If just looking for high throughput then
    https://mikrotik.com/product/CCR1009-7G-1C-1SplusPC

    They have options for a whole range of prices and needs.  Have been using them for over ten years and they keep churning out new software updates all the time, constantly adding features and fixes issues.  These guys don't do product abandonment like many others.
    https://mikrotik.com/products/


  • King
    King Member Posts: 40
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    I would look at the Ubiquiti Dream for the Gateway, managed switch and Wave2 AC access point all built in including cloud key. I would also buy the Ubiquiti Flex HD access points to cover my home depending on the size. Look it up online and you will see that this is one of the best options out there for reliability, security and performance.

    Lee_Bo
  • Amiga
    Amiga Member Posts: 2
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    @King Dream machine is an option I forgot to mention, and it's better scaled for a simple home - thanks for remembering (I mostly do installations with the small UC-CK or with cameras as well and the UC-CK Gen2 Plus - for big installations in rack the Dream Machine Pro is also fine).
    Not sure about a need of Wave2 AC except if you have (very) high number of people in the same zone. UAP-AC-M is great for outside and <80 €, UAP-AC-LR is my 'go-everywhere' choice at around 84 €.
    Regarding in-wall models the UAP-AC-In-Wall is fine but has a way shorter range and speed (around 75 €) and the 'pro' model solve this but price is way too high (150 €)
  • DonEnzo
    DonEnzo Member Posts: 1
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    I would recommend a Unifi USG Security Gateway. Since I switched my enviroment totally to Ubiquiti I have no outages or shortage of WIFI and a super reliable system. Switched everything to there switches an AP. One of my better decisions and the fing box works perfectly in this environment.


    Lee_Bo